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Generation Z: Meet the Young Millennials
Teens value video platforms for music discovery and social engagement, but, as they develop as music consumers, look to audio streaming services
By Eric de Fontenay (Founder & Publisher)
(more articles from this author)
2017-07-05
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Weekly use of music apps by UK teens (compared to all users average)

New music research by Mark Mulligan of MiDiA Research, "Generation Z: Meet the Young Millennials," explores the music consumption habits and social media behaviour of today's young Millennials (aged up to 19) in the UK and how their engagement across streaming and video platforms and social media and messaging apps, including Instagram, Snapchat and Musical.ly, is shaping longer-term trends.

YouTube still dominates in the social media space

The research finds that for today's tweens and teenagers YouTube is a pervasive platform – not only for new music and content and access to influential YouTubers like Zoella, but for social engagement also. YouTube plays a key role as "a video destination, music app, social platform and educational resource rolled into one".

Messaging apps have replaced social networks

Messaging apps including Snapchat and Instagram are becoming increasingly important, replacing social networks for Generation Z and enabling them to act on their impulse to "live in the moment" and "narrate their lives". As such they help build engagement around music and artist profiles.

More recent apps like Musical.ly and Dubsmash – video social network apps for video creation and messaging – are also growing in popularity. This is in part due to a rate of app innovation that is accelerating thanks to the "Millennial feedback loop" of older millennials shaping app experiences for the younger Gen Z.

But Spotify dominates music space and drives discovery

The research additionally shows that, as teenagers develop as music consumers, they are likely to be drawn to audio streaming services such as Spotify, Deezer and Apple Music. For those aged 16-19 Spotify is overtaking YouTube as the main music app, with 53 per cent weekly user penetration compared to 47 per cent for YouTube.

This helps to underline another finding highlighted in the report from previous MiDiA research showing that younger consumers (16-19 years: 67%) are more prepared to pay for music than other age groups (56%).

Streaming is, however, also transforming UK Teens' relationship with music, with Millennials increasingly accessing individual tracks or playlists rather than engaging with artists or albums

Generation Z: Meet the Young Millennials – Summary of Key findings

* 85% of 16-19 year olds say that music is an important part of their life.
* Authenticity, relevance, shareability and context are key to Gen Z.
* YouTube is the most pervasive entertainment platform for Gen Z, peaking at 94% monthly penetration among 16-19 year olds.
* However, for these 16-19 year olds, as interest in music develops, Spotify is overtaking YouTube as the main music app, with 53% weekly user penetration compared to 47% for YouTube.
* Music is the most widely watched content type among 12-15 year olds on YouTube, with YouTubers such as Zoella (11.8m subscribers) and KSI (16.1m) becoming the new pop stars for Gen Z.
* UK teens (16-19 years) are more willing to pay for music. 67% consider it to be worth paying for regularly compared to 56% of overall consumers.
* A third of 8-11 year olds in the UK use Snapchat, rising to 67% for 16-19 year olds, while 63% of 16-19 year olds use Instagram.
* Messaging apps like Snapchat and Instagram are replacing social networks for Gen Z.
* Among 16-19 year olds YouTube and social media unsurprisingly dominate, with much higher penetration rates than the overall population.
* Streaming is transforming Gen Z's relationship with music: 74% of all 16-19 year olds say they are mainly listening to single tracks and playlists instead of albums.
* 71% of 16-19 year olds listen to music radio on an at least monthly basis, just 3 percentage points above the all-ages average.


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